Globalisation

"Neoliberalism", sometimes called "market fundamentalism", i.e. the policy of non-intervention by the state in the economy, has been the dominant ideology of the bourgeoisie for close to three decades, involving widespread privatisation and all the other policies that go with it. The present economic meltdown, however, is forcing governments to intervene, regulate, and even nationalise firms because they have no choice. So is "neoliberalism" dead?

We received this interesting comment on the food crisis, originally published in the Manitoba Society of Seniors' monthly journal "Fifty plus".

As the recent Rome summit of the United Nations Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO) fades from the headlines (as few as they were in the U.S.), the workers and peasants of the world, and particularly those of the so-called Third World, are once again left to fend for themselves.

There are about 1 billion people in the world subsisting on $1 a day or less. These people typically spend 80% of their income on food. For them the present food price rises mean catastrophe. Why are so many going hungry? Why are food prices going up all the time? These are the questions the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation has been asking at its meeting this June. So far it hasn’t come up with any solutions.

Yesterday workers all over the world were celebrating May Day. The general mood reflected the sharpening class contradictions and anger against capitalist misery, but also against the bureaucracy of the labour movement. Here we are publishing reports of our supporters from the USA, Greece, Austria, Switzerland, Britain and Spain (in Spanish).

This is a book that every young activist, trade unionist or socialist will want to read. The book, based on historical examples from the past 190 years, shows that the workers are facing basically the same problems as ever, in spite of what any of our "post-modernist" friends would like us to believe.

The big corporations in North America, Western Europe and Japan are moving more of their factories abroad in search of lower wages. But in the process they are tying the interests of the international working class more closely together. In global companies like Ford, the interests of a section of workers on almost every continent are directly linked. The answer to capitalist globalization is to link up workers’ struggle worldwide.

In Britain and internationally supermarket chains have come to dominate the food distribution market. The tendency to monopolisation is evident. But with it go many practices that literally endanger our health, and with it also working conditions, wages, the environment and so on. The only answer is to take them over, remove the profit motive and run them in the interests of all working people.

Marx long ago pointed out that the capitalist mode of production naturally leads to greater and greater concentration of wealth in the hands of the few. The recent report of the World Institute for Development Economics Research of the United Nations University (UNU-WIDER) reveals how far this process has gone. What better argument do we need for socialism?

The second richest man on earth, investor Warren Buffett, made headlines last week with his plan to give away $37 billion of his $44 billion fortune to charities. The main beneficiary will be the richest man on earth, Bill Gates, who will put the cash in his Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. There are, however, some glaring contradictions in this fairy tale.

As the 2006 World Cup kicks off in Germany Steve Jones looks at the commercialisation of football and the impact of profiteering on the sport and the fans.

The dominant idea of contemporary bourgeois thinking is that increasing international integration of economic activity, or “globalisation” will lead to prosperity and peace for all. But globalisation is not a concept that helps us understand the world around us. It is an ideological construct used to trumpet capitalist victory – to conceal the crisis-ridden nature of the system and its perpetual failure to meet the needs of the world’s working class.

Globalisation really means the rise of the American Empire. That was the capitalist story of the 20th century. The story of the 21st century will probably be the fall of the American empire as the imbalances in the system unravel. Will the world slip back into some new form of barbarism or will it be replaced by real globalisation, namely world socialism?

When the 'Great Deal' on poverty and debt was announced at the G8 binge in Scotland in July, some people rushed to cheer it. Now, as the real facts come out, the truth confirms the G8 promises for what they really were.

The Gleneagles G8 summit meeting will not go down in history as the day world poverty ended. World musicians have been trying to raise awareness about world poverty and put pressure on politicians. The next day, George W Bush appeared on TV to reassure us that nothing concrete will be done for the poor. Instead of appealing to these people we should be organising to overthrow them and their rotten system.

In the wake of one of the largest demonstrations in the history of Scotland, Edinburgh hosted one of the biggest political debates in the country in recent times. Up to 4,500 people spread over five different venues in the city centre participated in the G8 Alternatives Summit.

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